Behind the Bathrooms

This is The Novalé Podcast: ‘Behind the Bathrooms’, where we talk about Bathrooms, Business and everything in-between. Join Steve Novkovic and Ben Le as they discuss various topics aimed at elevating the industry and improving the quality of people’s bathrooms.


December 30, 2020

06: Designing Your Dream Bathroom with Catherine Kirwan

Design is not only making your bathroom look beautiful but also ensuring it is a functional space for everyday. It is as much as creating as it is problem-solving. This episode we have a special guest, Interior Design Consultant Catherine Kirwan (Coco Republic, Max Sparrow, Thomas Hamel & Associates & Novalé Bathrooms) who explains how she helps her clients not just 'like' their new bathrooms, but "love" them too.


Join Steve, Ben & Catherine as they discuss the role of an interior designer, the design-client relationship, the design process and much more.


Episode Notes:

- Intro;

- Catherine's beginnings into interior design;

- Should you go to school to learn design?

- Interior designing for leading furniture companies;

- Catherine's entry into interior design for bathrooms;

- The difference between interior designing & decorating;

- Catherine's design process with a client;

- Design is creative problem solving of functional spaces;

- Designing around technical limitations;

- Look and feel over price for the PC items;

- Understanding the clients' needs and being guided by that;

- The value of hiring a designer;

- Designing for resale or for yourself;

- Final words;

- Outro;

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December 10, 2020

05: The Value of a Great Supplier with Fred Hawach (from Reece Group)

When you start your business you're going to need to decide on which suppliers you work with. This will require you to recognize great suppliers that will enhance your business and create mutually beneficial relationships. But how do you know the value of a supplier? And when you do, how can you maximise the value of that relationship?

Join Ben, Steve and Fred Hawach from Reece to find out.


Episode notes:

- Intro

- Fred's bio and how he started working for Reece

- What does Reece do?

- How Reece Group has been a premier supplier in bathroom renovations for 100 years;

- Communication is the key in a supplier relationship

- Delivering on time & well

- The Reece product range and customer experience;

- The importance of value and price;

- How Reece is thinking ahead;

- Closing words

- Outro

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November 8, 2020

04: Quality Assurance & Compliance with Bryan Dunlop

To delivery quality consistently and safely, you need someone to check all the processes to ensure the system is working. Whether that's mitigating risk in a pre-worksite audit, keeping up with new regulations or undergoing ISO accreditation, quality assurance & compliance is the role that will keep your business up to standard and running optimally.

Join Ben Le with our first podcast guest Bryan Dunlop from Novalé Bathrooms discussing QA & Compliance.


Episode Notes:

- Intro:

- Bryan's beginnings in carpentry, estimation and home building;

- Transition into bathroom renovations;

- The role of quality assurance and compliance;

- The day-day operations of the role;

- Main challenges of the role - getting people to buy-in, positives over the negatives;

- Having high-performance standards & ISO accreditation;

- QA & Compliance in the industry;

- How to be quality assured and compliant in an unregulated industry;

- Regulations and frameworks;

- Major regulatory bodies;

- Keeping up with regulations;

- QA and Compliance in Novalé & expectations;

- Impact of high performance standards in Novalé;

- Getting team to buy-in;

- Business licensing and insurance;

- Subcontractor or Employee? How to distinguish and choose;

- ISO Accreditation;

- How can new businesses improve their QA & Compliance?

- Final words;

- Outro.

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October 25, 2020

03: Delivering Quality in Your Trade Business Operations

Managing operations effectively is a crucial element in running your business. From optimising projects, job scheduling, building capacity to using metrics to plan ahead, operations have many facets that require discipline and hard work to deliver maximum quality.

Join Ben Le and Steve Novkovic as they discuss how to achieve delivering quality in operations.


Episode Notes:

- Intro;

- What is quality? How does Novalé define quality?;

- Quality in the early days of Novalé;

- Bathroom Renovators vs. Bathroom Builders;

- The build process of a typical bathroom renovation;

- Homeowner's Warranty Insurance;

- 5 week planning stage;

- Pre-worksite audit;

- Project management and risk mitigation;

- Strategic management: job scheduling, capacity, job pipeline etc.

- Customer: importance of referrals, customer experience;

- Quality over profits;

- Home site etiquette;

- Communicating quality in price;

- Final words;

- Outro.


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September 19, 2020

02: Building Your Trade Business Team Right

Once you have started your business and it is up and running, most chances are that the next step is building a team. But first, how do you know who to look for, what qualities should you prioritise as well as where is the best talent for your business?

Join Ben Le and Steve Novkovic from Novalé Bathrooms discuss the best ways to build an effective long term team.


Episode Notes:

- Intro;

- Steve's team at the beginning of Novalé;

- Recruiting through channels other than friends and family;

- The importance of attitude and values over talent;

- Identifying outstanding talent vs. red flags;

- Negotiating wages and salaries;

- Training and nurturing talent;

- Hire slow, fire slow;

- Training program at Novalé;

- Supporting the team;

- Rewarding great work;

- Building the best team culture;

- Final words;

- Outro.

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August 31, 2020

01: Your Trade Business Starts With Transparency

Starting a business involves many things, but the most important is being honest and transparent. Understanding who you are, trusting and building trust in others and setting clear expectations with yourself and others in all aspects leads to better relationships, experiences and overall business.

Join Ben Le  & Steve Novkovic from Novalé Bathrooms discuss the many impacts of transparency has on bathroom renovations and the business in general.


Episode Notes:

- Intro

- Why Steve wanted to start a podcast;

- Steve's beginnings as a tiler and transition to bathroom renovations;

- Why transparency and expectations are important for the customer;

- Transparency and the value in pricing & scope of works;

- How transparency helps the team members on-site;

- Transparency in reporting progress - the PM Tool;

- Transparency and documenting processes;

- Final words;

- Outro;


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Starting on yourJourney

Get in touch with the friendly team at Novalé Bathrooms today, to see how we can turn your bathroom renovation dream into reality.